Pensions could be fuelling climate change with huge £88 billion investment

Climate change is a huge global issue. Yet, research indicates that pension funds are investing billions of pounds in businesses that are contributing to the challenge. Does your pension invest in fossil fuel companies?

The Make My Money Matter campaign claims UK pension funds are investing £88 billion in fossil fuel companies. On average, this works out to around £3,000 for each pension holder.

The campaign, which encourages UK pensions and banks to stop “destructive, harmful investments”, states the actions of fossil fuel companies that pensions are investing in aren’t aligned with climate change goals.

Among the pension funds analysed, 70% said fossil fuel giant Shell was among their largest holdings, and 60% said the same about BP. Conversely, there were no renewable energy stocks listed among the top holdings of any of the pension funds assessed.

Why emotional decision-making could be costing you investment returns

It can be difficult not to let your emotions influence the decisions you make. When investing, emotional decision-making could be harming your portfolio’s performance and your ability to reach your goals.

While you try to make investment decisions based on logic and facts, it can be easy for emotions, from fear to excitement, to play a role at times. And a survey of financial advisers reveals it could be costing you more than you think.

According to a report in FTAdviser, financial advisers believe emotional decision-making costs investors at least 2% each year in foregone returns. They believe two of the biggest mistakes investors make are:

  • Being too influenced by the news (47%)
  • Taking too little risk (44%).

If you’ve been guilty of these mistakes in the past, you’re certainly not alone. The good news is that there are things you can do to reduce the effect emotions have on your investments.

A decade after introducing auto-enrolment, the government confirms plans to extend it

Since the government introduced pension auto-enrolment in 2012, millions more workers have started saving for their retirement. Now, the government has confirmed plans to extend auto-enrolment to encourage a savings boost. The changes could have implications for both employees and business owners.

In a publication, the government has revealed key announcements following a review of auto-enrolment that started in 2017. The reforms are forecast to increase pension contributions by £2 billion a year.

3 key auto-enrolment changes to be aware of

1. The minimum age of auto-enrolment will fall from 22 to 18

Young workers could start saving into a pension much sooner. The government intends to lower the minimum auto-enrolment age from 22 to 18.

For employees, this could be a positive step. Saving for retirement from the outset of their careers could help establish positive money habits among workers.

Intergenerational wealth planning: Your options when passing on wealth to the next generation 

Ensuring your family is financially secure for the long term is a common goal. If it’s one of your priorities, intergenerational wealth planning could help you create a plan that suits you and your loved ones.

There’s more than one way to pass on wealth to your family. Each option has advantages and drawbacks that you need to weigh up to understand what’s right for you and your beneficiaries. This useful guide covers three main options:

  1. Gifting assets during your lifetime
  2. Using a trust to pass on wealth
  3. Leaving an inheritance

The guide also explains some of the key things you need to consider before you pass on wealth. For instance, if you gifted assets now, could you face financial insecurity later in life? Or could your estate be liable for Inheritance Tax when you pass away?

You can also read about the benefits of involving your family in the financial planning process.

Government to ban financial cold-calling as 1 in 15 fall victim to devastating scams

The government has set out a new Fraud Strategy in a bid to stem the rise in the amount lost to scams. Among the measures it will implement is a ban on cold-calls related to financial products. While it could help protect you, you must remain vigilant too.

According to government figures, fraud is now the most common crime in the UK, with 1 in 15 people falling victim. Each year, victims lose almost £7 billion. Scams can have a devastating effect not only on your long-term finances but your wellbeing too.

The new measures aim to close the routes that scammers use to target victims.

Among the steps will be a ban on cold-calling on all financial products. It means if you receive a call in the future out of the blue about financial products, from insurance to investment schemes, it could signal a scam.

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